Research Group

Opportunities to Join Us

Regrettably, I am not in a position to accept postgraduate research students for the 2023/24 academic year. 

If you are interested in Postdoctoral Opportunities, I'd be happy to discuss ongoing and future project, avenues for funding, or support for fellowship applications. Feel free to contact me. Members of underrepresented groups in marine sciences are particularly encouraged to get in touch. All are welcome.

Current Research Group

Postdocs and Research Fellows

Dr Alice TrevailUniversity of Exeter (2021–2025). Project title: Birds without borders or isolated islands? Connectivity of Chagos seabirds. Funded by the Bertarelli Foundation.


Rhiannon Davies University of Exeter (2022–2026). Thesis title: "Investigation of spatial differences in resilience of Maldivian coral reefs". Supervised with Julie Hawkins (UoE) and Callum Roberts (UoE).

Debs AllbrookUniversity of Exeter (2022–2026). Thesis title: "Ecology and sustainable management of gulls on offshore platforms". Supervised with Alice Trevail (UoE), Richard Delahay (RSKBiocensus), John Swaddle (College of William & Mary),  Stu Bearhop (UoE) and Robbie McDonald (UoE).

Kirsty LaurensonHeriot-Watt University (2021–2025). Thesis title: "Impact of increased storminess on seabird demographics". Supervised with Matt Wood (University of Gloucestershire),  Andy White (Heriot-Watt University) and Steve Votier (Heriot-Watt University).

Francesco GarzonUniversity of Exeter (2021–2025). Thesis title: "Pelagic fish and shark survivability in recreational fisheries". Supervised with Matthew Witt (UoE) and Lucy Hawkes (UoE).

Jacqueline Glencross –  University of St Andrews (2020–2024). Thesis title: "Impacts of fishing-induced changes in forage fish school structure on seabird foraging". Supervised with Andy Brierley (University of St Andrews).

Molly Margaret KresslerUniversity of Exeter (2020–2024). Thesis title: "Foraging success, predator-prey dynamics, habitat complexity, and individual variation in lemon sharks". Supervised with Sasha Dall (UoE), Dave Hodgson (UoE) and Matthew Smukall (Bimini Biological Field Station).

Jennifer Grigg University of Exeter (2018–2024). Thesis title: "Causes and consequences of dispersal and recruitment: Importance of juvenile movement ecology for penguin conservation and translocation". Supervised with Steve Votier (Heriot-Watt University), Dave Hodgson (UoE) and Grainne McCabe (Bristol Zoological Society).

Research Group Alumni

Postdocs and Research Fellows

Dr Stephen Lang – Postdoc, University of Exeter (2021–2022): "Interactions between anthropogenic pressures and African penguin foraging behaviour and population dynamics". Funded by the Pew Charitable Trusts and OWCN.


Dr Stephanie Good — 2023, Thesis title: "Setting a global standard for estimating fisheries’ impacts on seabirds: what constitutes ‘best practice’?" Supervised with Rachel Turner (UoE), Richard Phillips (British Antarctic Survey) and Steve Votier (Heriot-Watt University).

Steph has published two papers from her PhD so far, one in Biological Conservation [LINK] and one in Endangered Species Research [LINK].

Dr Amanda Kuepfer 2023, University of Exeter. Thesis title: "Seabird-fisheries interactions – The importance of fisheries in shaping the ecology of black-browed albatrosses in the Falkland Islands". Supervised with Stu Bearhop (UoE), Paulo Catry (ISPA - Instituto Universitário) and Steve Votier (Heriot-Watt University).

Amanda has published three papers from her PhD so far, in Biological Conservation [LINK], ICES Journal of Marine Science [LINK], and Marine Biology [LINK].

Dr Pete Carr 2021, University of Exeter. Thesis title: "Exploring the benefits of a tropical, large-scale marine protected area for breeding seabirds, per mare, per terram". Supervised with Malcolm Nicoll (ZSL), Heather Koldewey (ZSL) and Steve Votier (Heriot-Watt University).

Pete published a number of papers from and during his PhD, including this one in Bird Conservation International [LINK].

Dr Davide Gaglio — 2017, University of Cape Town. Title: "Investigating the foraging ecology and energy requirements of a seabird population increasing in an intensely exploited marine environment". Supervised with Timothée Cook (BlueSeeds) and Peter Ryan (UCT).

Davide published an amazing 8 papers from his PhD, including papers in Methods in Ecology and Evolution [LINK], Behavioral Ecology [LINK] and Scientific Reports [LINK].

Davide now works as a Park Lands & Sustainability Coordinator for the City of Adelaide, South Australia. And he is also an award-winning photographer to boot! 

Dr Kate Campbell — 2016, University of Cape Town. Title: "Factors influencing the foraging behaviour of African Penguins (Spheniscus demersus) provisioning chicks at Robben Island, South Africa". Supervised with Antje Steinfurth (UCT, now RSPB), Rob Crawford (Department of Environmental Affairs, now retired) and Les Underhill (UCT, now retired).

Kate published two papers from her PhD thesis in Journal of Applied Ecology [LINK] and Ostrich [LINK].

Kate currently works as a Biologist for Environment Canada and Climate Change.

Masters by Research

Rebecca Miller2020, University of the Western Cape. Title: "The effects of anthropogenic disturbance upon African penguin mainland colonies". Supervised with Lorien Pichegru (Nelson Mandela University), Lauren Waller (CapeNature) and Gavin Maneveldt (UWC).

Some of the results from Rebecca's MSc thesis were published in Conservation Physiology [LINK].

Barbara Barham — 2017, University of Bristol. Title: "Nest site fidelity of the African penguin (Spheniscus demersus)". Supervised with Innes Cuthill (UoB).

Jennifer Grigg — 2016, University of Bristol. Title: "Monitoring the African penguin (Spheniscus demersus) for conservation: Evaluating the effectiveness of spatial fisheries management and investigating relationships between foraging behaviour and reproductive success". Supervised with Marc Holderied (UoB) and Gráinne McCabe (Bristol Zoological Society).

Some of the results from Jenny's MSc thesis were published in Proceedings B [LINK].

Jenny is now a doctoral student with me at the University of Exeter – see above.

Leanne Tol — 2016, University of Cape Town. Title: Factors impacting the breeding success of African penguins Spheniscus demersus on Robben Island. Supervised with Les Underhill and Peter Barham (University of Bristol, now retired).

Leanne now works as a Programme Coordinator for the Island Nature Trust, Canada.

Dr Joanne Morten — 2015, University of Bristol. Title: "Linking body condition of African penguin Spheniscus demersus chicks to begging calls, rehabilitation success and occurrence of mass abandonment". Supervised with Marc Holderied (UoB) and Christoph Schwitzer (Bristol Zoological Society).

Jo published some of the results of her MSc in Animal Conservation [LINK].

Jo completed a PhD with Lucy Hawkes at the University of Exeter in 2023 and is now a Marine Science Officer with BirdLife International.

Philna Botha — 2014, University of Cape Town. Title: "The effects of prey availability on the endangered bank cormorant Phalacrocorax neglectus" (PDF). Supervised with Timothée Cook, Peter Ryan and Les Underhill.

Some results from Philna's MSc thesis were published in Conservation Biology [LINK] and Conservation Physiology [LINK].

Dr Corlia Meyer 2014, University of Cape Town. Title: "The endangered bank cormorant Phalacrocorax neglectus: the heat is on. Understanding the effect of climate change and associated environmental variable changes on the breeding biology and population dynamics of the bank cormorant" (PDF). Supervised with Timothee Cook, Peter Ryan and Les Underhill.

Some results from Corlia's MSc thesis were published in Conservation Physiology [LINK].

Corlia is now a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the University of Stellenbosch.

PG Taught (MSci and MSc) students

BSc Project Students